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Can someone figure out what is going on here?


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#1 Joe Bigornia

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:26 AM

Allow me to introduce myself, My name is Joe Bigornia and I am the VP of Big7 Media. My wife who is the CEO is also our Steadicam operator. We have a problem with our Steadicam Flyer, She has been flying for about a year and she only gets better until recently we noticed a shake whenever she takes a step. I am linking a video so you can see for yourselves but please give us some feedback on what it could be. I am thinking that it is probably too bottom heavy? But also there was a time when we were missing a little screw in the arm and then we replaced it. Thanks in advanced for your feedbacks and help and we look forward to being part of this community forum.

Password is steadicam
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#2 Fabian Meller

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

Well it looks like something is loose. Check all the things you've attached to the sled. Check if all components on the camera are tight and do not shake. Also be sure that the top stage, the monitor and the batteries are tight. If everythings good take the sled (with the camera attached) and do the "shake test" - just shake it and feel/look if anything is still shaking.
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#3 Adam Brown

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

Just for good measure, do a once-over on all your screws on the sled/gimbal with an allen wrench and make sure they're tight. On the Zephyr, it's quite common for them to loosen up with use/time/storage. I always double-check every one before flying.
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#4 Joe Bigornia

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

Thank you so much guys. I will definitely check it for sure. Thanks a million and have a great weekend.
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#5 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

Did you find the culprit?
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#6 Scottie Hui

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:51 PM

Wow, it's good to know screws can come loose on the Zephyr. I've noticed this sort of thing happening to me as well so I guess it's time to tighten up. From my experience I find the connection from the camera to any quick release plate to the dovetail the main areas of shake.

One time I used an Sony Ex-3 and it was just like your video, but I finally found out that the plate was touching the rubber shoulder pad which would vibrate the video...it was such a small detail, yet it made a huge impact.

BTW, I'm a long time lurker and first time poster, so Hello to you all!
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#7 PeterAbraham

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:21 AM

Hi Scottie, welcome !!

This is beyond a Zephyr or even a particular manufacturer. Anything with screws can have them work loose. When the gear is transported by airplane, or used on vehicle mount, screws work loose even faster.

Rocking with the camera/ dovetail place interface is always a problem when you have an uneven or very small surface. Notably offensive in this area are the Sony EX1 and EX 3 bodies as well as the entire range of Canon XL cameras. ( Both SD and HD ). The footprint of "grab area" is small and sometimes not dead flat.

Two cheap and very effective solutions exist. The first is the universal solution used by camera assistants: Take a 1" strip of camera tape and run a few inches on either side of the mounting hole. This adds a slight bit of padding and "grab" as you bolt the plate to the camera body. Even on very large cinema cameras, if given only one 3/8-16 threaded hole, the potential for sideways rotation exists. ( Especially when you whip pan ! ). Using a strip of camera tape on either side stops this for the most part.

The same trick will allow the plate to be much more firmly bound against the surface of the bottom of the camera. Lacking camera tape, go to Michael's Arts Supply or AC Moore Arts Supply. Ask where they have the 1 foot square foam rubber craft sheets. Buy one. ( Less than $ 2.00 USD ). Cutting a panel of this very thin closed cell foam rubber and making a gasket will eliminate a heck of a lot of gap. No gap, no shuddering in the shot due to vibration at this source.

Others posting here are correct, though- check every single thing you can. Especially on the Flyer of all Generations, check the screw holding the monitor in place. If you've lost the "O" Ring, you'll get vibration from that. Tiffen can get you a new one of the proper fit for very little money. Also, is there a viewfinder on the camera? If it's a type that sits off to one side, they are notorious for vibrating. Tape or zip tie it down. Ditto with a shotgun mic on the side of the camera body. The rubber isolation mounts allow the mic to jiggle as you walk.

Anything that can vibrate will given the opportunity. The gimbal and arm are miraculous at removing body motion and isolating the sled, but if something on the sled itself is not nailed down, you will get shuddering.

Out of curiosity, which generation Flyer are you using?

Best,

Peter Abraham, S.O.C.
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#8 Joe Bigornia

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:27 AM

Hi Scottie, welcome !!

This is beyond a Zephyr or even a particular manufacturer. Anything with screws can have them work loose. When the gear is transported by airplane, or used on vehicle mount, screws work loose even faster.

Rocking with the camera/ dovetail place interface is always a problem when you have an uneven or very small surface. Notably offensive in this area are the Sony EX1 and EX 3 bodies as well as the entire range of Canon XL cameras. ( Both SD and HD ). The footprint of "grab area" is small and sometimes not dead flat.

Two cheap and very effective solutions exist. The first is the universal solution used by camera assistants: Take a 1" strip of camera tape and run a few inches on either side of the mounting hole. This adds a slight bit of padding and "grab" as you bolt the plate to the camera body. Even on very large cinema cameras, if given only one 3/8-16 threaded hole, the potential for sideways rotation exists. ( Especially when you whip pan ! ). Using a strip of camera tape on either side stops this for the most part.

The same trick will allow the plate to be much more firmly bound against the surface of the bottom of the camera. Lacking camera tape, go to Michael's Arts Supply or AC Moore Arts Supply. Ask where they have the 1 foot square foam rubber craft sheets. Buy one. ( Less than $ 2.00 USD ). Cutting a panel of this very thin closed cell foam rubber and making a gasket will eliminate a heck of a lot of gap. No gap, no shuddering in the shot due to vibration at this source.

Others posting here are correct, though- check every single thing you can. Especially on the Flyer of all Generations, check the screw holding the monitor in place. If you've lost the "O" Ring, you'll get vibration from that. Tiffen can get you a new one of the proper fit for very little money. Also, is there a viewfinder on the camera? If it's a type that sits off to one side, they are notorious for vibrating. Tape or zip tie it down. Ditto with a shotgun mic on the side of the camera body. The rubber isolation mounts allow the mic to jiggle as you walk.

Anything that can vibrate will given the opportunity. The gimbal and arm are miraculous at removing body motion and isolating the sled, but if something on the sled itself is not nailed down, you will get shuddering.

Out of curiosity, which generation Flyer are you using?

Best,

Peter Abraham, S.O.C.

I thought we found the Culprit but I guess not.
We are flying a Canon 60d, With an older generation Anton Bauer Battery, Cables going to battery and Camera, Z96 LED light on top.

Thank you for this, I will fully inspect it once again.

I am not sure what generation it is . The Flyer is the Arm and Vest only, She is using a Glidecam HD4000 on it now since we gave up the original sled to get some extra money on some Lens. We have used it with no problems before but we noticed the shake is on the left side and my wife is pretty upset it is still there. We just did a shoot today and noticed the "jitter" again on the left if you watch the following video.
Password is Help. Thank you everyone for helping us out.

Joe
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#9 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:25 AM

Monitor or Battery mounts are loose
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#10 Joe Bigornia

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

Monitor or Battery mounts are loose


Thank you Eric,
So do you think if I tell her to fly the sled only first to narrow the problem?
I am almost certain now that is the sled or camera area from replies from all of you
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#11 John Amunét

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:21 AM

Hi,

 

I'm a long time lurker as well but never posted here. Did you figure out a solution to this? I've been operating my zephyr for almost a year now as well and recently started to notice this same effect but only at running speeds.  

 

I know it's not a operation problem since I haven't encountered the problem before but something is definitely not right on the rig. Also there is a slight side to side wobble and up and down wobble on the gimbal itself. Very slight but it is there. Can this be the culprit?


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#12 PeterAbraham

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:53 PM

If you can wobble the gimbal when holding the sled in your hand, and when it is not on the arm, then you have a gimbal problem. Send it in for servicing.

 

Does it actually shift up and down while under load and on the arm??

 

Best to all,

 

Peter Abraham, S.O.C.


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